World Wildlife Fund Sustainability Works

Better business for a better Earth

At World Wildlife Fund, we believe deeply in the private sector’s ability to drive positive environmental change. WWF Sustainability Works is a forum for discussion around strategies, commitments, technologies and more that will help businesses achieve conservation goals that are good for the planet and their bottom lines. Follow WWF Sustainability Works on twitter at @WWFBetterBiz.

filtered by category: Freshwater

  • Date: 08 April 2014
  • Author: Alexis Morgan, WWF

In 2009, WWF joined with nine other leaders including The Nature Conservancy, CDP, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the United Nations Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate to form the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS). The dream was to advance water stewardship by moving companies and utilities to more responsibly manage water resources, using a water standard as an incentive.

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  • Date: 16 December 2013
  • Author: Julia Fiala

Did you know that the average roof collects 600 gallons of water for every inch of rain? Capturing some of that stormwater could play an important role in protecting our freshwater resources. Rain barrels are one simple first step that can set small business owners, schools, homeowners, and corporations down the path of freshwater conservation.

Due to reasons such as environmental degradation, prolonged drought, and the rising price of municipal water, rain barrels have grown in popularity over the past several years as one of the simplest and most effective methods of helping our planet. Rain barrels can not only help save money on municipal water bills but they can also reduce erosion and flooding caused by turbulent stormwater runoff.

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  • Date: 11 October 2013
  • Author: Karin Krchnak, WWF
Karin Krchnak

Karin Krchnak is director of WWF's freshwater program

When we asked “How do you value H20?,” the answer from World Water Week that most stands out to me is “precious.” Water is precious – especially fresh water. Of all the water on Earth, only 3% of it is fresh. Yet this 3% provides the whole world’s drinking water, delivers food through fishing and crop irrigation, is necessary to sanitation and health, generates power through dams, and houses an incredible range of biodiversity. Despite its importance, the debate on the environmental value of H20 and how to incorporate that into decision making still languishes.

For example, approximately 40% of all fish depend upon freshwater habitats, with some 200 new freshwater species being identified each year. However, at least 20% of all known freshwater fish—some 2,000 species out of the 10,000 so far identified—are endangered, vulnerable or extinct. Our freshwater systems and the species that depend on them are being lost before we can even identify them. The Yangtze’s finless porpoise or the Rio Grande’s silvery minnow cannot protect themselves or their habitats—so we need to be the stewards that ensure their survival just as much as our own.

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  • Date: 10 October 2013
  • Author: Dr. Bogachan Benli

Dr. Bogachan Benli - United Nations Development Programme/Every Drop Matters

Last month’s World Water Week in Stockholm focused on how collaboration can help organisations develop solutions to the world’s water challenges. With the United Nations declaring 2013 the International Year of Water Cooperation, all eyes were on how partnerships can best work in practice.

From my point of view, it is partnerships involving the private sector that are moving things forward in the water development sector. The reason for this? It’s simply that, when working with the business world, there is no time to rest on one’s laurels. Projects must be delivered quickly and efficiently – because if a budget is not spent within a given timeframe, with tangible results, there will be no more funds from the business partner.

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  • Date: 09 October 2013
  • Author: Roberto Vega, Dole Food Company

Roberto Vega is director of sustainability for the Dole Food Company

Agriculture accounts for almost 70% of withdrawn water for human use. 40% of all crops grown in the world are produced using irrigation. By 2050, the world will need to find a way to cope with the additional 2 billion people that will need to be fed with the same amount of land and with less water available.

We need to find solutions to a large number of challenges that threaten the sustainably of food production. Water is a critical element in this equation, and its correlation with soil and other agricultural inputs needs to be comprehensibly addressed.

I would like to talk about a product I am very familiar with: bananas, which by the way are 80% water. For years, internationally traded bananas have mainly been sourced from Latin America. Ecuador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Colombia and Honduras have become the main sources of conventional bananas for Europe and North America. On the other hand, Peru and the Dominican Republic are large producers of organic bananas. All these countries have very different characteristics, including soil types, rainfall patterns and pest and diseases.

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  • Date: 02 May 2013
  • Author: Nick Conger

Maybe it’s all the recent droughts, or severe storms, or basic supply/demand dynamics, but there's a lot of buzz about water risk these days. Alexis Morgan, a global water expert at WWF, is most concerned with the latter issue. Alexis and executives from PepsiCo and Calvert take to the “Wet & Wild: Assessing & Managing Agricultural Water Risks” panel session at today’s Ceres Conference, where they’ll discuss strategies to bring water use back into balance with nature.

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  • Date: 30 April 2013
  • Author: Nick Conger

Scanning the busy agenda for this week’s Fortune Brainstorm Green, I’m struck by the opening and closing sessions of the first day. Focusing these highly visible sessions on the economics of conservation is telling. Indeed, how businesses, financial institutions and governments account for nature as a material asset has become the hottest sustainability topic of 2013.

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